Search Marketing Tools Articles

NOTE: Articles about search marketing tools FROM SEPTEMBER 2004 ONWARD are now located in the SEM Tools section of Search Topics in Search Engine Watch.

Below are articles from BEFORE SEPTEMBER 2004. Please be aware that article links often change, especially the older an article is. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Also note that in many cases, some tools were presented to Search Engine Watch members through the Search Engine Update newsletter as brief mentions. These tools are noted as “Search Engine Update mention,” along with the date. Clicking on the URL takes you to the product mentioned, rather than to a story about the tool. Descriptions are as of the date shown, so the tool may have changed since then.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About A URL
SearchDay, Aug. 24, 2004

A new tool from search craftsman Michael Fagan uncovers a hidden wealth of information about virtually any web page.

Somacon’s Data Feed Service
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2004

Run a Yahoo Store? Here’s a tool to convert your listings for submission to Froogle.

NameProtect Search Engine AdTracker Reports
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2004

This new service is designed to track your brand name in bad ads. At $5,000 per year to track up to 10 keywords, there are far cheaper solutions such as WebPosition that are probably as effective. In conjunction with the launch of the new service, NameProtect issued a report saying that 92 percent of Top 100 brand had third parties buying ads linked to their names.

Freak out time! Well, dig a bit deeper, and some of those listings are from third parties working on behalf of the brand (such as affiliates, resellers). As it turns out, only 45 percent of listings were deemed to be from competitors or potentially unlicensed resellers (and in both cases, while annoying, the ads may still not be illegal). And the use of the brand name in the ads? Not necessarily a sign of trademark infringement — it really will depend on exactly what is said.

Some figures from NameProtect here. Nice write-up on the findings and observations from Kevin Ryan of iMedia Connection here.

Another Expanded Whois Service
SearchDay, Aug. 12, 2004

Doing in-depth investigation of a web site? offers a wealth of detail about the people and technology behind just about any web site on the planet.

New version of the Webposition Gold search engine optimization software
Pandia, Aug. 2, 2004

Short review of the new upgrade to WebPosition. Also see this ClickZ review.

Lynx Viewer
Search Engine Update mention, July 2004

Here’s a handy online tool to let you see a text-only version of a page, giving you the idea of what a spider might see.

Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer
Search Engine Update mention, July 2004

Are you doing a 301 redirect correctly? What’s the last modified date your server is reporting? Information like this and more sent by web servers but not shown in a browser can be obtained via this free tool.

Overture Announces New Bid Management Tool
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 23, 2004

Overture is rolling out its own bid management program for advertisers to manage prices automatically, and looking at adding other new features.

Overture tool broadens ad analysis, July 28, 2004

Overture has launched a bid management feature called Search Optimizer to its existing conversion tracking tool, but the bid management only works for Overture listings. Those with Google AdWords accounts will still need to seek another solution.

Network Solutions Offers Enhanced Whois Lookup
SearchDay, July 14, 2004

Want detailed information about a particular web site? Network Solutions has significantly enhanced their classic Whois service, providing richer information and more useful tools than most other domain lookup services.

Wondir Question Ticker
Search Engine Update mention, July 2004

Want to stream live what people are asking at the Wondir question answering search engine? Here’s the free code to do so.

Checksum Available for Free
Search Engine Roundtable, June 27, 2004

Know all those cool tools popping up recently that show Google PageRank scores in situations outside the Google Toolbar. They’ve all done this apparently by figuring out the checksum code Google uses to curb this type of use. Recently, someone tried to sell the code to do this on eBay. But others are offering it up for free.

PageRank Indicator for Linux and Mac OSX, June 9, 2004

Want Google PageRank scores in your browser but don’t run Internet Explorer. Here are new options for Mac and Linux users.

Future PR Lookup Tool
Search Engine Update mention, June 2004

Google operates a series of data centers where new content is pushed out before it migrates to being accessible by the ordinary searching public. Thus, looking at these data centers can give you a few days notice about changes that may come on Google itself in the near future. This tool will show you the PageRank score of a particular URL. If it’s higher or lower than what you see in the Google Toolbar for that URL, it could indicate a change is in the wind.

HitsLink 3.0
Search Engine Update mention, June 2004

Web-based tracking and page analytics service is being updated this month with new reports showing pages receiving traffic by search engine, search terms by search engine, pages by search engine and search terms and a search engine trend report, along with other enhancements.
Search Engine Update mention, May 2004

Fee-based service designed especially to help you locate domain names that have expired but which may still be listed in popular web directories or which have many links pointing at them within popular search engines. Keep in mind that with Google, a change in domain registration information will cause only links created after a new registration to be counted for ranking purposes.

Zunch Search Engine Spider Simulator
Search Engine Update mention, May 2004

Enter a URL and have the HTML coding stripped, to give you a more textual look at what search engine spiders may see.

Prog (formerly Proogle)
Search Engine Update mention, May 2004

Slick. Get Google results with the PageRank of each page shown. Why doesn’t Google do this? One reason — it looks odd to see some pages with a higher PageRank come below those with a lower one. But that’s also again proof as I’ve written many, many times before. PageRank alone doesn’t trump. The link context and other factors also come into account. Previously called Proogle, that site closed, apparently because Google blocked it (see this for more). Prog is a replacement by the same company that is working, though it perhaps tempts fate by not only taking Google’s results but running its own ads alongside them.

ClickTracks 5 Released
Search Engine Update mention, April 2004

I love ClickTracks. It’s a superb tool for seeing how people click through your site to various goals you have for them — or to discover if they aren’t getting to where you want. The search referral are also wonderful. Now the latest version is out. I haven’t played with it yet, but fellow believer Peter Da Vanzo also raves about it here.

Google PageRank Report
Search Engine Update mention, April 2004

Enter URLs and get back a report showing Google PageRank scores in numeric value. Useful for those on Macs and others without access to the Google Toolbar or anyone who wants scores for a variety of pages.

Keyword Pagerank Finder
Search Engine Update mention, April 2004

Awesome tool for easily proving that PageRank values don’t trump everything. Enter a query, and the tool brings back results from Google with their PageRank scores listed. See how the New York Times gets into the top results for movies with a PR6 score, above a PR7 site. See how the Hard Rock Cafe gets in the top results for newport beach with a PR1 score. Take that, all of you who think you shouldn’t get links from any site with a PR4 or less.

Must….roll…rock…up…hill… again…
Traffick, July 2, 2003

Thank you, Andrew. Yes, most site submission services do little for you. If they simply pass your URL to an Add URL page, it’s something you can do all by yourself in just minutes for free (follow tips here). The same is true for other things Andrew warns about. Here are some rules of thumb to consider. Anything that’s only $9.99 probably isn’t that worthwhile. Anything that employs jargon and words you’ve never heard of, especially to explain why they aren’t “bad” from a search engine perspective, might be something you should be wary about. And anything advertised on a search engine by no means is necessarily “approved” by that search engine.

Epic Sky Competitor Watch
Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

New paid service that lets you monitor what terms your competitors bid on, average CPC, how they overlap with you and other features.

Search Engine Saturation Check
Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

Enter your URL and learn how many pages are listed with various search engines.

Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

This desktop-based bid management tool gains ROI tracking as an add-on service.

WebTrends Log Analyzer
Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

WebTrends is an easy-to-use and popular log analysis program that provides excellent search term reporting. Be sure you get version 4.5 or higher — older versions can’t do search term analysis properly.

Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

FlashStats is an online analysis program meant to give you a quick look at how your web site is currently performing. It breaks out keywords used to reach your site from many major search engines, as well as provides general linking and activity reports. It can be configured to use as an offline program, if need be.


Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

The log analysis program is notable for its graphical displays of crawler activity from the major search engines. It does not do search term analysis, however.

Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

This is a free Unix log analysis program that provides search terms support for nearly 60 search engines, including some non-US services such as

Search Engine Update mention, June 2003

Don’t have access to log files? Bellacoola is a great way to generate them offsite. See also this past review.

Search Engine Update mention, May 2003

Want a simple way to see what paid search listings are available for different topics from the web’s two biggest providers, Overture and Google AdWords? Then download AdPile! This handy “meta ad” search utility pulls back results from both paid listing networks and combines them into a single page.

Those setting the program to the “US/Global” region also get results from two other providers, FindWhat and LookSmart. Those choosing the “UK” region see major European paid listing provider Espotting as a third provider.

AdPile is a small 400K download, which then allows you to search from within the program. It would be great to see a non-software based version as well, and the company says one will be out shortly. Finally, be aware that even if you set your region to the US, those in the UK will still see Google AdWords results targeted to the UK. The same may be true vice-versa, as well.

Search Engine Flash Viewer
Search Engine Update mention, May 2003

Want to see how search engines interact with your Flash files? The tool purports to show you what HTML they are able to see.

Domain Name Ownership Research Tools
Online, May/June 2003

So many domains these days — how do you find who owns them? An extensive guide to domain name research tools.

Interview with John Marshall of ClickTracks, March 2003

This looks at key features and offerings of ClickTracks, via an interview with the company’s CEO, John Marshall.

Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2003

Allows you to see the HTTP header information sent out from a web server plus lets you control the user agent name you send. That means you could pretend to be an AltaVista or Google spider, for example. If anyone is feeding information based only on agent names, you’d then see exactly what they were sending. However, if they are using IP-based cloaking, this program won’t help you see the “real” page sent to a particular spider. To set a user agent name, you’ll need to choose “Set Custom” then figure out how to use the Custom Header option.

A meta Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2003

Windows-based program for writing and managing meta tags.

Position Pro
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2002

Position Pro is designed to spider your web site and then help you identify pages that should be queued for priority submission to search engines. It also provides tools to help you optimize those pages. Those I’ve spoken with that use it love it, so it’s worthy of anyone’s consideration. See also this past review.

bCentral Submit-It
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2002

Long-standing web-based multisubmit service, owned by Microsoft.

Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2002

Web-based system allowing you to submit your pages via paid inclusion programs to major search engines offering such services. The same company also offers a software multisubmit tool, SubmitWolf Pro, with paid inclusion capabilities.

Trellian MetaEditor
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2002

Free tool that imports meta tags from an existing HTML page and offers drag and drop keyword sorting and other features.

AddWeb WebSite Promoter
Search Engine Update mention, Aug. 2002

Offers multisubmit, page analysis and doorway page creation capabilities. It also has integration with FrontPage.

Search Engine Update mention, July 2002

Formerly called BidRight, BidRank has undergone some changes since I last summarized it. Here’s a quick rundown. You can feed listings to Overture via XML. Bid changes can now be made up to 24 times per day, per keyword, rather than 6 times (this is true for other “authorized” Overture bid management tools, as well). It’s also been suggested that using BidRank (and perhaps other authorized tools) means that your actual cost per click is shown in Overture’s results, rather than the max you are willing to pay. BidRank Plus is a version with support for FindWhat, Kanoodle, Espotting, Ah-ha and Sprinks. Approved by Overture.

Atlas OnePoint (formerly GO TOAST)
Search Engine Update mention, July 2002

Another authorized bid management tool for Overture, features ROI tracking capabilities and recently added some support for Google Adwords. Also supports a variety of other other paid listings search engines. The company acquired rival in June 2002.

Tracking and Measuring Search Engine Marketing Success
SearchDay, June 18, 2002

It’s not enough to simply optimize your web site and hope for high traffic. You need to use tools and techniques to assure success, according to a panel of search engine marketing experts.

New “Perfect Page” Report
The Search Engine Update, May 13, 2002

Axandra analyzed over 100,000 pages that ranked in the top ten at Google, AltaVista, Inktomi (using iWon results), AllTheWeb, Wisenut and Teoma. It then further broke them down by page elements and other factors, with the goal designed to help you understand which criteria seem most important for ranking success.

Overture Names “Authorized” Bid Management Providers
The Search Engine Update, Jan. 22, 2002

When bid management programs started popping up last year, one of my key questions to Overture was, are these OK? Should advertisers using them worry that they’ll be getting in trouble? Silence was the response. The limbo about these programs has now ended. Overture has named seven companies as “authorized” third party bid management providers. A look at the issues involved with naming “authorized” vendors and what may happen to unauthorized products.

PPC Bid Management Software Showdown
High Search Engine Rankings, Jan. 17, 2002

Kalena Jordan’s put together a great chart listing various bid management programs and comparing their features, along with short reviews of each product.

Gapster Security Hole Fixed
The Search Engine Update, Jan. 7, 2002

Covers how the Gapster bid management tool had a security hole that left account information unprotected on the web for a brief time.

Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

This software lets you build custom Yahoo-like directories for a low price. Offers a variety of features, such as the ability to send approval messages, and many customization options.

Gossamer Threads Links
Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

This package from Gossamer Threads comes complete with submission forms and the ability to have administrative review over submissions.

Bookmark Us! Script
Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

This JavaScript applet lets Internet Explorer users bookmark your site by clicking on a link, while Netscape users are told the browser command to use for bookmarking.

Dynamic Submission 2000
Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

Multisubmit tool with doorway page generation capabilities, search term suggestion tools, position checking and other features. (Jan. 2002)

SubmitWolf Pro
Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

Multisubmit tool with many country-specific versions. Also can do deep submits via paid inclusion programs, offers rank checking and other features.

VSE Be Found
Search Engine Update mention, Jan. 2002

Mac-users, this is a multisubmit tool for your operating system. It also has meta tag checking and positing checking abilities, among other features.

Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Handy browser companion, with “light” versions already built into Netscape and Internet Explorer. It can help you understand how much traffic you receive in relation to other sites, plus provide site ownership details. More in these past reviews: Dec. 1999, June 1999, April 1999.

GRKda Keyword Density Analyzer
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

One of the first software-based keyword density analyzers, this an excellent tool for analyzing your existing files to see which are already content-rich for particular terms. It is also designed to help you analyze the keyword density of other people’s pages. See also this past review.
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Specify a keyword or search phrase, and this free service will show you how often it appears on any two web pages that you select. On the results page, selecting the “Search Engine Profiles” option and rerunning the analysis shows you the estimated percentage for each major search engine, rather than for a generic search engine.

Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Online resource that allows you to pull up a page and see its contents divided into different elements, such as body copy and header information. Helpful for pages that do fast refreshes. You can also do a keyword density analysis, in different areas. If checking on the home page of a site, be sure to use a slash at the end of the domain, or the program doesn’t work properly. In other words, you’d input rather than

Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Paste your body copy into this form and discover which terms are most frequently used. You might be surprised to discover the terms you are targeting the page toward don’t appear that often. If so, you might consider using them a bit more frequently.

Keyword Count
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Enter a URL, and this free web-based service will report back on the number of times and percentages various keywords appear within it.

idesignbusiness Meta Tag Generator
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Simple, free, online-based meta tag generating tool.

Advanced META Tag Generator
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Want to make meta tags, especially those beyond the keywords and description tags supported by major search engines? Then try this page — or use the JavaScript code to make an offline version. Be aware that it’s only the keywords and description tags that are fully supported by AltaVista and Inktomi. The other major search engines either ignore these two (and any other meta tags) or provide only limited support.

Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

Automated online service that spiders your site, analyzes your pages and generates meta tags for them based on the page content. Also provides visitor statistics for “mended” pages that you track and submits pages to major search engines. (Dec. 2001)

Compare Your Clicks
Search Engine Update mention, Dec. 2001

This free service lets you enter a term, then see the going rate for the top five positions on several paid listing services. A great tool for doing some quick research.

Build Your Own Yahoo
SearchDay, Nov. 1, 2001

The itch to create your own online portal eventually strikes just about every web searcher. To do it properly, you should make sure you have the right tools for the job.

NetMechanic Search Engine Power Pack
Search Engine Update mention, Nov. 2001

A variety of utilities designed to help in your search engine marketing efforts. There’s a keyword popularity tool, though this simply pulls data from Overture. You could easily gather this information without using the Power Pack. More interesting are the other tools. There’s a meta tag generator, a “Page Primer” analysis tool that offers basic advice for changes that may help with crawler-based search engines, a submission tool to send your URLs to many search engines at once as well as a “deep” submit of many URLs from the same web site, and a rank checking tool. Price is US $89 per year, per web site domain.

Make a Shorter Link
SearchDay, Oct. 29, 2001 takes long URLs and outputs a very short one that’s easy to email, include in newsletters, or add to your own bookmarks or favorites list.

Search Engine Optimizer
Search Engine Update mention, Oct. 2001

I haven’t had a chance to play with this page analyzer tool, but it is produced in part by Robin Nobles, a veteran of the SEO industry. It is designed to check pages for possible problems with search engines in over 60 different areas.

Don’t pay for search-engine submissions, Aug. 24, 2001

Multi-submit search engine software isn’t likely to bring you traffic but instead tons of spam email.

New Tools For Managing Paid Placement
The Search Engine Update, June 18, 2001

Review of tools especially designed to help you optimize your listings on paid placement search engines.

Position Pro Manages Submissions, Optimization Efforts
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 26, 2001

When you are working with a site that has a large number of new or changing pages, it would be ideal to have a tool that can do a deep submit to the various search engines, according to their different limits. That’s exactly what Position Pro has offered since the middle of 1999. It’s one of the few decent deep submit services I’ve seen worth recommending.

Search Engine Autosubmissions Run Amok
ClickZ, Sept. 8, 2000

Richard Hoy says exactly what I feel when I come across submission tools that have been “top ranked” by major computer publications. I often wonder just how in depth the rating criteria really is, or do these editors just read the product description and assume it must be great. It takes a lot of time to properly review a submission tool, and you’d better fully understand how search engines operate in order to measure potential effectiveness. Despite posted reviews, it remains buyer beware. Best tip: if you are going to purchase a package, get one with a money-back guarantee.

eLuminator Brings Content To Light In Search Engines
The Search Engine Update, Nov. 3, 2000

The eLuminator service is especially designed to submit password protected content in a way that makes it accessible to search engines without dropping any restrictions required for human visitors before they are allowed to view it. Since this review, the technology has been purchased by Inceptor.

Search Engine Marketers Prefer Manual Submission to Auto-Submit Tools
The Search Engine Update, March 20, 2000

The results of a survey of web site marketers has found that most prefer to submit manually to search engines rather than use auto-submission tools. Most marketers said that this was because they “know” manual submission is more effective.

In Pursuit Of The Perfect Page
The Search Engine Update, Feb. 22, 2000

What “numbers” or “rules” should be followed to construct the perfect page for each crawler-based search engine. In other words, how many times should a term appear on a page for it to rank in the top results? How often should a term be repeated in a meta tag to attain success? How often can a term be repeated before a spam penalty ensues? No one has these numbers, but a variety of tools aim to get you closer to them.

JimTools Utilities
The Search Engine Update, Jan. 18, 2000 has online utilities that let you perform keyword research, bidding research at GoTo and all-in-one site submission.

The Dastardly “favicon.ico not found” Error
Web Developer’s Virtual Library, Aug. 3, 1999

If you bookmark Search Engine Watch using Internet Explorer, you’ll notice the site has its own unique icon that appears next to its name. You can do this too, by reading this article.

Keyword Density Analyzer: Not Magic, But Useful
The Search Engine Update, July 1, 1998

Wouldn’t it be great if you could analyze the content of top ranking pages and figure out the secret that makes them relevant? That’s the idea behind the GRSoftware’s Keyword Density Analyzer. The reality is not so rosy, but this is still a useful tool for many webmasters. Submissions, Shareware-Style
The Search Engine Update, June 22, 1998 is an up-and-coming web promotion resource that will be of interest to many web marketers, especially those on tight budgets.

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